Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Zero Waste Halloween Treats

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Halloween is quite a challenge for zero wasters with many unhealthy treats packaged in wrappers that are difficult to reuse or recycle. So instead our household prepares our own treats in compostable/recyclable food grade wax envelopes. We also staple a note to each one so the recipient knows exactly what they are getting, where it came from, and how to properly reuse/recycle the note and packaging. And we have a nonfood option as well for kids who have food allergies.

Here is the note we gave out this year with our treats:
Dear Trick-or-Treater,

Thanks for stopping at our house!

This year we are giving out non-food treats (worry stone and $1 for your college fund)  or organic food treats for you to savor (cashews, dark chocolate almonds, or raisins) all packaged in compostable wax paper bags.

Reduce, reuse, recycle!

Reduce -- We need to conserve our world’s limited resources. Treats are extra special when you get just a little. So take it slow and easy and savor every little bit.

Reuse -- Please reuse this printed paper and the waxed paper bag. Reuse conserves resources and minimizes trash. If you don’t want the treats we’ve given you, we’re sure your parents would love them!

Recycle -- If you cannot reuse this paper or plastic bag, please recycle / compost / food cycle them (paper into paper recycling bin, bag into compost / food cycle bin). Please dispose of everything in the proper place to keep our world safe and clean.

Trash Nothing -- Unfortunately most regular candy wrappers cannot be reused or recycled and just end up as trash. Much of this trash goes into our streams and ocean -- killing wildlife and eventually getting back into our own food -- yuck!

To learn a few simple ways to take better care of our world, see:

For more advanced tips on how to go zero waste, see:

Please take care of yourself and our world, you are precious and deserve the very best!

Thanks!

Sincerely,
Tim & Pat Oey
Allison Way
Sunnyvale, CA 94087

Here is a picture of our sidewalk sign outside our house:


Our front porch:


The treats we purchased in bulk in our own packaging:


The note we printed and cut up (2 sided):


And the treats all ready to hand out:


In the past we have also given out mandarin oranges and homemade oatmeal chocolate chip cookies. For more about nonfood options, please see the Teal Pumpkin Project.

We hope you all had a great Halloween and will try zero waste options in the future!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Great service and reducing plastic waste at Safeway!



This is the face of great "can do" customer service as well as sustainability. This is Vince the meat manager of the Safeway at 20620 W Homestead Rd, Cupertino, CA 95014. Vince can tare your container (so you only pay for the contents) and put any of their meats into it that otherwise would go into their store packaging. Please bring your own clean container and say hi to him at the butcher counter and thank him for reducing disposable plastic waste. Thanks!

BTW, ​in case you get someone not as experienced as Vince at the butcher counter, here is what they need to do to enter the tare for your container (the order here is important):



  1. Weigh container first to establish its weight
  2. Take container off scale
  3. Enter product code
  4. Hit tare button twice in upper left corner of keypad and then enter the tare weight obtained in step 1
  5. Put container on scale
  6. Notice correct tare and net total weight at or very near zero
  7. Put product in container
  8. Print label and apply to container
  9. Notice that correct tare is also printed on label

You can buy any of Safeway's meats this way.

BTW, at Zanotto's the process is simpler:

  1. Enter product code first
  2. Put empty container on scale
  3. Press tare button
  4. Add product to container
  5. Print label and apply to container.